Ah, 2021, the year we’ve been waiting for! It’s here, FINALLY! Away with the “horror” of 2020, the year to be remembered for all eternity. I’m so happy!
So, why don’t I feel differently?
I love a new year. A time to refresh oneself; a time to be renewed! A cleansing, if you will, of our past year’s unhappinesses with ourselves and what we did or did not accomplish, all to be washed away by the stroke of midnight on December 31st. But just like the magic that disappears for Cinderella at the stroke of midnight, so too can those goals of weight loss and plans to rise early for Cross-Fit and goals to update that resume or promises to not “yell at the kids”… poof, gone!
I am here to tell you that I am no different. I set my goals just like the rest of you and somehow I begin to settle into old patterns and ways of thinking. So much for a “brand new year”! But what I DID realize in 2020 was the importance of giving myself grace.
In 2020, the popular theme seemed to be the need for “self care”. Responsibilities and work-styles changed drastically last year, and so did our stress levels. What I realized is that if I do not take care of myself, everything around me will suffer as well. A lot of pressure, right? Ah, more stress!!
I also learned that self care is a NECESSITY, not SELFISHNESS! (And don’t let anyone tell you differently-even yourself!) I am a woman of service, therefore it is in my nature to martyr myself; not good for me or anyone else around me! So, I have learned to say “no”, to take time out for myself, and to do things that nurture my soul, but not out of obligation. If you’re like me, here are a few suggestions that could help get you on track for this new year:
- Prioritize your THOUGHTS. With so many responsibilities swirling around us on a daily basis it’s no wonder we get lost in world between anxiety and overwhelm, which does not bode well on our mood! We can have so many (maybe too many!) embers in the fire that we get lost in “doing” and not just “being”. Prioritizing your thoughts by writing them down can be the first step. (Plus it gets it out of your head and on paper, solidifying your goals.) Make 3 lists: things to be done NOW, THIS WEEK, and THIS MONTH and see if it shifts your perspective.
- When making changes, take BABY STEPS! This is important because, just like a child, we sometimes need positive reinforcement along the way. Reward yourself on the road to your goal and not just when you achieve the goal. This makes the end goal less daunting and more fun along the way!
- Make your goal MENTAL. Every goal begins in the brain, whether it be a physical, spiritual or, yes, a mental goal. If you have not made the commitment to yourself in your head, your body will not loose those pounds, for example, negative self-talk can take over and stress will overtake you! Time and time again quantum physics has proven that there IS such a thing as mind over matter. So be careful what you think! Which leads us to…
- Learn to MEDITATE. We are naturally in a continued state of fight or flight. This self protecting mechanism ingrained in us is imperative for survival when encountering a bear or a stranger in a dark alley, but is overworked in our daily life. Meditation gives your brain the well deserved break it needs from everyday stressors that tax your body’s systems. It has also been discovered to decrease stress, improve your immune system, increase self awareness and love and even increase physical healing in the body!
- Move your BODY daily! And by movement, I mean exercise! Moving your body is like increasing the capacity of the heart. The heart can only pump the blood so far around the body. By moving, it allows the blood to push around to all parts of the body (like having a second heart!) Movement also increases fluids in and around the connective tissues and encourages the breaking up of scar tissue, increasing freer movement, which, in the long run allows your energy levels to increase! Daily movement allows us to think more clearly, lowers your blood pressure and decreases anxiety! And movement doesn’t have to mean running a mile around the block! There are so many modalities of movement, such as Essentrics®, that gives you a non-impact option of full body movement in every workout while stimulating muscles, connective tissue and your nervous system!
Remember that every minute of every day is a new beginning! Don’t just wait for a new year to make changes. YOU are capable of GREAT THINGS! Slow it down, meditate, reward yourself and give yourself grace! It’s going to be an AWESOME YEAR!